Raptors free agency: Toronto competing with two rivals for Nerlens Noel

Raptors free agency: Toronto competing with two rivals for Nerlens Noel

Despite the fact that Masai Ujiri remains unsigned the Toronto Raptors offseason is starting to properly kick off in the coming days, with the annual Raptors free agency blitz slated to really get started in August. One target that has been linked to Toronto frequently given their lack of quality at the center spot is […]
Raptors free agency: Toronto competing with two rivals for Nerlens Noel – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 3 shooters to select in 2021 NBA Draft second round

Toronto Raptors: 3 shooters to select in 2021 NBA Draft second round

The Toronto Raptors can take comfort in the fact that they have plenty of players on this roster who can stroke it from deep, but in the modern NBA, there is no such thing as having too much in the way of 3-point shooting. The Raptors could take a game-changer with their first pick in […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 shooters to select in 2021 NBA Draft second round – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

AL East Report – May 18

The fact that the Blue Jays have a 22-17 record in mid-May is absolutely incredible.

We all know the story of how their largest free-agent signing has missed all but two and a half games. We all know how the bullpen, one of the best in the league, is attracted to injuries like a moth to a light and we all know that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is essentially playing MLB My Career with the way he has been hitting.
However, what about the rest of the AL East? How have the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays been faring this season? In this post, I will look to answer that by giving a rundown on their injuries, their schedule and how the Jays shape up against them.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Red Sox
On May 18th, the Toronto Blue Jays will play a pivotal series at their home away from home against the Boston Red Sox, who are first in the AL East. According to Sports Illustrated’s season predictions, the Boston Red Sox were projected to finish fourth in the American League East. Boston took great offence to this and have a …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Is Khem Birch going to start a movement that gets Canadians to Toronto?

Toronto Raptors: Is Khem Birch going to start a movement that gets Canadians to Toronto?

Despite the fact that basketball is flourishing like never before in Canada, the number of Toronto Raptors Canadians remains comparatively small. While only a handful of Canadians, including Chris Boucher and Cory Joseph, have ever suited up in Raptors red and black, they added another one to the mix with the addition of center Khem […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Khem Birch going to start a movement that gets Canadians to Toronto? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Around the North: Julien fired, McDavid McDaviding, and Ottawa is present

It’s a known fact that Toronto is the center of the universe. It’s equally known that the Maple Leafs are Canada’s team, and to believe other wise would be silly and the cheer for anyone other than the Leafs would be treasonous. That’s part of the reason why we have this site and commit so much of our time to bringing you important Leafs content. That being said, I’ve been told there are still six other teams in the North division and once in a while it don’t hurt to acknowledge what’s going on with them as well. So we’ll do that now.
Edmonton Oilers
It pains me to say that the Oilers are the second best team in the Scotia North Division at the moment. So I’m not going to say that. I’m going to say that the Oilers could be the worst team in the Scotia North Division, but they happened to have Connor McDavid grafted onto them and that takes you a far way. McDavid’s 3 goals and 2 assists on the first five Oilers goals on Saturday night against the Flames somewhat proves that point, and as …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Luck, Inconsistency, and Penalties define the Leafs first 10 games

Let’s start of with the fact that the Leafs are 7-2-1 to start the season, sitting at the top of their division, and we’ve seen demonstrations of skill from all the players you’d hope to see that from. The big four forwards are doing terrific, the new additions on the blueline are certainly making it appear the position has been upgraded, and Andersen and Campbell seem like they will be able to get the job done for the Leafs this year.
On the surface everything is looking pretty great, but some of that changes when we reflect on how the Leafs have gotten to this point. The reality is that it’s been a very shaky 7-2-1 performance, and more often than not, the Leafs have been relying on their power play to bail them out, getting by on short bursts of offensive talent in an otherwise lackluster night of hockey from them.

Looking at their performances to date, the wins in Ottawa and against Winnipeg were the only two that statistically show the Leafs as a dominant team at 5v5 and looking to earn their victory. And even in both of those games, the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs waive five players

We knew this was coming. In fact, I wrote earlier today about how it was coming. That being said, we are now playing the waiting game to see if any of them are claimed.

Kenny Agostino, Travis Boyd, Adam Brooks, Martin Marincin and Calle Rosen have been placed on waivers by Toronto.
Aaron Dell, notably, was not. So the #leafs are still carrying three goalies on the active roster.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 11, 2021

Let’s start with who wasn’t waived, and that was Aaron Dell. Not waiving Dell was absolutely necessary at this time, given that both New Jersey and Washington could use a goaltender, and let’s face it, Dell could be a starter in Edmonton as well, so he was going to get a ton of interest. Hopefully teams figure out their goaltending situations soon, and Dell can safely be moved to the Taxi Squad in the near future, giving the Leafs a bit more flexibility with their players.
Boyd and Brooks are both slated for the Leafs main roster or Taxi Squad, and the fact that they are waived pretty much guarantees that it is the taxi squad where they are landing. There is some risk …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL “postpones” the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend, but still targets January as the start for the season

The NHL released a statement earlier today addressing the fact that the 2021 season would not feature two of it’s signature events…
NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2020) — The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Panthers were to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., originally scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2021. Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus. The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs should offersheet Jesse Puljujarvi

Fun fact: Offersheets just don’t happen. This will probably apply a lot to this post, but also remember it the next time you are out on a ledge about Mitch Marner as well. Committing to an offersheet is committing to a whole lot of uncertainty and it’s hard to find a more risk averse group than NHL GMs. You’re basically committing to an overpayment, you’ll have to wait a week to see if your offer will be matched or not, you’re giving up draft picks, and especially with 1st rounders involved, are you prepared for if your team underperforms and you give up a lottery pick? Are you prepared for that pick exceed the abilities of the player you signed? No. None of this sounds like anything that a GM is willing to put on themselves. Especially when the most recent “successful” offer sheet is to Dustin Penner, who was decidedly not very good and the action nearly led to a barn fight.
Since Penner (2007) there have been 5 failed offer sheet attempts. David Backes, Steve Bernier, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Shea Weber, and Ryan O’Reilly. You could argue the quality of player has been improving, but 5 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The “Unqualified” Free Agents could provide the solution the Leafs salary cap woes

I don’t think this is my worst quality, in fact I know I have much worse ones, but I’ve noticed I have a character flaw. I am overly attached to formerly can’t miss prospects who have most definitely missed. It’s because of that I spent yesterday closely watching as team after team released the names of the restricted free agents that they would not be submitting qualifying offers to. You can find the full list of them on PuckPedia.
There are a few reasons that teams don’t qualify their free agents. The one that has popped up most recently is the realization that arbitration rights are a difficult thing to deal with, especially since it’s pretty binding in most cases, especially for players that end up at the bottom of the roster.
12.10 Walk-Away Rights for Player-Elected Salary Arbitration.
(a) If a Club has elected to arbitrate a one-year SPC, and the award issued is for
$3,500,000 or more per annum, then the Club may, within forty-eight (48) hours after the award
of the Salary Arbitrator is issued (or, if a Club has any other Player still eligible for salary
arbitration at that time and for whom …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation